Sunday, September 27, 2009

HOW DO YOU SOLVE A PROBLEM LIKE THE DETROIT LIONS



The Detroit Lions have not won a NFL Championship since 1957 but that statistic doesn't really begin to tell the story. They have, for instance, lost their last nineteen games, stretching back to 2007. Between 2001 and 2003 there were the only team not to win a single game on the road.

Things looked bright for a few weeks in 2007 when they started the season at 6-2. They won only one additional game, ending the season at 7-9. There are so many more sad stories to tell. A lovely new facility where they continue to stink the place up.

Why do fans still go the games? This is a mystery to me. If they stopped going, the Detroit Lions ownership might be forced to put a good team on the field. I propose that if an owner cannot produce a winning team in 52 years, he should lose the franchise. What do you think? Doesn't Detroit have enough problems without the Lions to drag them down 16 times a year?

23 comments:

the walking man said...

1957 was about the time when things began to turn in Detroit from very good to come to this point of very bad. I say leave the Lions alone because so far they have been an accurate bellwether of the overall landscape of the city.

But then I am not a fan of any football or other sports team so *shrug* makes little more than a side note to me.

pattinase (abbott) said...

I'm not of a sports fan but I would watch the DLs if they had a winning season. Or at least I used to.

Randy Johnson said...

The end may be near, Patti. "Experts" give them a good chance this week against the 'Skins.

pattinase (abbott) said...

Don't even tempt me to turn it on, Randy.

R. T. said...

The whole problem of professional sports can be boiled down to a single proposition: there is too much interference with basic capitalistic market forces. The NFL commissioner's involvement and the union's involvement over the years has pulled the rug out from under a simple concept: you either give the consumers what they want or you go out of business. Football ought to be run like any other business (restaurant, amusement park, bordello, etc.). That fact that football is NOT run like a basic business is the real problem.

Todd Mason said...

The pretense that the success or failure of a sports team on the field should have any great effect on anyone not on that team (or betting on them) has always struck me as, well, asinine.

But, then, that's part of why I'm so much fun to hang around with. I must admit I was less likely to express this opinion before living in the DC area for a dozen years, where much of the populace decided they had a right to be rude or snappish when the racistly named Foreskins lost a game, the poor dears.

People go to the games because they want to go to a football game. If they only wanted to see a winning football team's game, I guess they need to go to somebody else's games...or to root for the visitors...

George said...

Buffalo Bills fans bear a close resemblance to Lions fans, Patti. In 50 years, the Bills had four great ones when they went to the Super Bowl (but lost all four games). The other 46 years have mostly been terrible. Yet, the Bills will have another sell-out crowd at the stadium today. Fan loyalty should never be discounted.

JJ Stickney said...

Two words - Cleveland Browns. Ever since the NFL turned its back on the fans of my city and moved the franchise to Baltimore (who took their name after Poe - Laura Lippman's Tess Monaghan has a nice rife about this in her first book - wishing that TS Eliot came from Baltimore & the team could be called the Hollow Men) I've had zero interest in the NFL.

John McFetridge said...

R.T. makes a good point - the result of unchecked capitalism is alwas either monopoly, bankruptcy or collusion (or it gets regulated to keep it falsely alive).

Sports, needing at least two teams to work, can't be run in a capitalist way because they can't both win all the time.

Of course, in reality what the NFL teams as a group have to compete with are other forms of entertainment so thinking of each team as a solo business doesn't work at all and the main reason the NFL is the most successful sports league in the world is because the owners understand this. Too bad they didn't understand it for the rest of their businesses.

All my life people have been telling me the great thing about sports is building character. There's no character building in the Yankees spending five times as much money than the other teams to win.

It's easy to support a winner.

Of course,maybe I feel this way because I live in Toronto and it's been a long time since the Leafs won anything, the Blue Jays wil never spend at the rate of the Yankees or Red Sox and the Bills are playing home gams here, so yeah, supporting a losing team builds character, yeah, that's the ticket ;)

Charles Gramlich said...

the way it works,, though is if fans stopped going the Detroit lions would become the Memphis Noise or something like that. The football ownership practically holds citys hostage, though I don't understand everything about how that works.

Still, at least the Lions "did" win one. The Saints never have.

pattinase (abbott) said...

I don't understand why Detroit fans don't stay away en masse. If the frachise stopped making money, something would have to change. Ford has been completely inept at choosing good management, I think. They have ruined careers like Barry Sanders and Billy Sims. If I was a college senior and drafted by Detroit, I would be pretty depressed.

pattinase (abbott) said...

John Stickney-How have you been?

Bryon said...

Nothing will change with the Lions until there is a change in ownership. Sadly, I don't see that happening soon. I still watch games and occasionally go to games because I love NFL football and this is the team I was raised on.

pattinase (abbott) said...

I would be willing to make a rule that after so many years of not producing a winning team, the owner should have to put the team on the block. The new owner would have to keep the team in the city of origin though.

Cormac Brown said...

It will take years to undo the Millen curse. He had a propensity for drafting on the offensive side of the ball and for selecting players that did well only in college.

I don't like what Martin Mayhew has done as a GM this offseason either and you have to have a quality general manager/front office to rebuild through the draft and free agency.

Matthew Stafford is a good start and I'd take Calvin Johnson over virtually all the other receivers in the NFL, because he is still producing despite being constantly double-teamed.

The Lions will have to have to spend the money on a quality offensive line via free agency (it's too late to draft and develop an o-line), before Stafford becomes like Joey Harrington (sp?) and hears the footsteps of defensive players even in his sleep.

They will have to draft two quality defensive tackles that can both stop the run, and collapse the pocket to free up the pass rush. A good tight end is a quarterback's best friend, because he keeps the linebackers and safties honest.

It will not be impossible, but Ford has to realize that everything starts with the front office, despite whoever is coaching the team. He is not the cheapskate that the Bidwells were for so many decades with the Cardinals, so all that needs to be done is to find the next difference-maker that mans the phones.

Chuck said...

The Lions did not sell out for today's game so it was not on TV. And woulnd't you know it, after 19 losses in a row, they finally won. Maybe the secret to success for the Lions is to keep them off TV.

But except for the Lions, Detroit has had many championship teams since 1957 - the Red Wings, the Pistons and perhaps this year, the Tigers.

pattinase (abbott) said...

Yes, they did it. And I didn't have to sit through it.
The front office is their downfall. You're right, Cormac.

Jerry House said...

From my daughter's Facebook page today: "can not believe the Redskins had the audacity to lose against the Lions. Nobody loses against the Lions, NOBODY does, for crying out loud..."

pattinase (abbott) said...

And that's the general consensus. How could it not be! Best, Patti

Dana King said...

I was rooting for the Lions against Washington, if only because I thought losing to such a team might make Washington owner Dan Snyder's head explode. The Lions held up their end. Alas, Snyder did not. As usual.

Chin up, Detroit fans. Stafford can play, and Jim Schwartz can coach. It won't be 19 games before the next win.

Corey Wilde said...

Congratulations on the Lions' win. Now if only my Rams could find a solution.

pattinase (abbott) said...

I'll bet the Rams record over the last fifty years is better.

Corey Wilde said...

No question, the Rams have had moments in the sun. Seems like a long, long time ago though. Us football fans, we're pretty much a 'what have you done for me lately?' crowd.